Firefighters Who Took Photos of Kobe Bryant & Gianna’s Remains At Crash Site To Be Fired
The Los Angeles County Fire Department is planning to terminate two firefighters and suspend a third for taking photos of the helicopter crash site where Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others tragically lost their lives.
Court documents were filed earlier this week as part of widow Vanessa Bryant’s federal lawsuit against Los Angeles County that alleges invasion of privacy.
The two firefighters were sent “intention to discharge” letters in December after a fire department internal investigation concluded they had taken photos of the dead bodies in the helicopter wreckage that “served no business necessity” and “only served to appeal to baser instincts and desires for what amounted to visual gossip,” Bryant’s attorneys said in a declaration in support of delaying the lawsuit trial to allow time for additional investigation.
The third firefighter was said to be a media relations officer sent to the scene to interact with the press, the court document said.
Kobe Bryant and the others were killed Jan. 26, 2020, when the helicopter they were aboard crashed on a hillside. Safety officials have since blamed pilot error for the wreck.
An internal investigation by the Los Angeles County Fire Department found that two firefighters had taken photos of the bodies in the helicopter wreckage that “served no business necessity,” Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys wrote, and “only served to appeal to baser instincts and desires for what amounted to visual gossip.”
Sheriff Alex Villanueva told NBC News in March 2020 the behavior was “inexcusable,” “inappropriate” and “unconscionable,” and said the deputies were immediately ordered to delete the images.